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Airfix P-51D Mustang “Short Fuse” in 1/48.

Having built a number of Mustangs in the past I was convinced that nothing could hold a candle to the Tamiya kit. While I'm still of that opinion this offering from has come a long way towards shaking my convictions. The surface detailing is good, but not better in my view & there are a few novel assembly methods which took me a while to get used to but were very innovative & worthwhile. Now that I'm finished I must admit to learning a few lessons the hard way; the most important being not to assume that I could built it without consulting the instructions!

I chose to build my out of the box, except for the AeroMaster decals which were trouble free, despite being about fifteen years old! Despite there being a few challenges regarding fit, I would be very happy to build another & my guess is that there will be a future release offering a Mustang IVa in RAF markings as there are cowling gills included in the kit (although no Aeroproducts propeller). I used Alclad lacquers over Tamiya white primer & despite always feeling apprehensive with NMFs I am quite pleased with the results. Hope you like it!

11 additional images. Click to enlarge.

22 responses

  1. Nicely done Tony, I almost bought one at my LHS yesterday but passed. May have to go back and revisit that decision. Looks good.

  2. VERY NICE Tony. I like what you have achieved with this kit. I have two of these Airfix P 51's in the stash and your build will definitely be my reference when doing mine.

  3. Good lookin' build, Tony...and who doesn't just love seein' a nice Mustang build.

  4. Great Mustang, Tony! I have the new Airfix kit and look forward to building it. I can't compare it to the Tamiya because I haven't seen one, but if you say it's even a bit better, it must be something!

  5. Fantastic Mustang! Great job.

  6. really nice job!

  7. Nice work, Tony. I’m not a huge Mustang fan but bought one because I’ve really come to enjoy the assembly phase of these new Airfix kits. They’ve made it interesting again, and my experience is that they turn out top notch as long as you pay attention. Your kit turned out great and I think it’s superior to the Tamiya kit just for the better clear parts alone. I’ll be referring to yours when I build mine.

  8. Good looking Mustang Tony, I guess the Airfix model really builds to rank as one of the best Mustangs of all scales. Your model does full justice to that in my opinion

  9. The Airfix instructions are the best anybody does. Anyone who follows the instructions will have a great model. I take it you learned your lesson.

    This kit is actually better than the Tamiya kit - better cockpit, better flaps (up and down equally good). And cheaper. Did I mention it's better designed and CHEAPER?

    Richard Turner (pilot of this airplane) told me 30 years ago that it originally was a second "Short-fuse Sally" (after his P-51B) but he went home on leave after extending for a second tour and found Sally was blasting her short fuse with someone else. So he came back and had them remove the name. During the winter of 1945, he slipped off the icy wing and went down to the PSP, landing very hard on his tailbone. The injury never set, and was later responsible for him leaving the Air Force and for spending "more years than I wanted" on disability.

  10. A beautiful Pony, Tony!

  11. Coming back to this 17 months later, after the release of the amazing Eduard kit and having finally sampled a Meng P-51D, I have to say that the Airfix kit is still very competitive, and for its quality at its price, really stands at the head of the class. Yes, the Eduard blows it and all others away for tiny detail, but like most Eduard kits it is "fiddly" where this kit is straightforward. Even following the instructions perfectly with the Eduard, it's still not certain what you've got till you cross the finish line. With this kit, you know it's first class and you're doing well by following the instructions at every point. I've now done every version they've released, and been knocked dead every time.

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